Students, staff, and institutional leaders represented at the Voices from Tertiary Education forum on 1 March 2018 at Manukau Institute of Technology, have called on the Minister for Education, Chris Hipkins, to develop a new funding model for vocational education and training that meets the needs of all New Zealanders.
Representatives at the forum called for the change as part of a wide ranging statement that sets out a series of recommendations to reform the vocational education and training sector. The recommendations call on the Minister to:
- Work with staff, students and sector leaders to develop a new funding model
- Ensure a new funding model guarantees the regional provision of tertiary education, so all people can access learning opportunities in their communities
- Take the immediate step in Budget 2018 of changing the Student Achievement Component funding under-delivery figure to a more reasonable level
- Host further forums dedicated to discussing the future of the vocational education and training sector
- Build a system that recognises and provides for diverse learners – including, but not limited to, Māori, Pasifika, second chance learners, sole parents, mature students, students with disabilities, and LGBT
A copy of the statement has been sent to the Minister for Education and the Tertiary Education Commission.
Sandra Grey, National President of the Tertiary Education Union, said:
“It was fantastic to have students, staff and sector leaders together in one place to discuss the future of vocational education and training. The statement we agreed provides a way forward for the sector that would ensure access to lifelong learning opportunities for all New Zealanders, which would benefit our families, whānau, communities and the economy. We are committed to working with everyone at the forum yesterday to make these changes happen.”
Gus Gilmore, Chief Executive of the Manukau Institute of Technology, said:
“This statement signals our commitment to working with government, students, staff and sector leaders to ensure institutes of technology and polytechnics can continue to provide transformative learning opportunities for a diverse range of students in communities up and down the country. The public vocational education and training sector is hugely successful and at the forefront of innovative teaching, and it is vital this continues for the benefit of us all.”
Jonathan Gee, President of the New Zealand Union of Student Associations, said:
“Making sure the vocational education and training sector works for a diverse range of learners, including Māori, Pasifika, second chance learners, sole parents and mature students, is vitally important. To make it happen, students must have a strong voice at the heart of all planning and decisions in the sector. The statement we agreed yesterday provides the Minister with a way of making this happen whilst also securing a new funding model that meets the needs of learners of all ages, employers, staff, and local communities.